More Than This by Jay McLean
Series: More Than #1
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 10, 2013
Format: eARC, 311 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone.
Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In Review: My Thoughts
The prologue to More Than This sucked me in immediately. Tragedy… Deaths… Murders… What on Earth? Isn’t this a love story? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that it’s so, so very much more than that. It’s about family, betrayal, loss, grief, acceptance and moving forward. But it’s also about love, hope and friendship. This book was a roller coaster ride from start to finish. I think it took me through every possible emotion and made me feel all the feelings. There were several “WTF?!” moments that I didn’t see coming a mile away.
More Than This is told through Mikayla and Jake’s perspectives. The alternating perspective chapters were very well written. Each character had a clearly-defined voice. So many books do this now, but not all do it well. There was no question whose chapter I was reading, even if I missed the heading at the beginning.
My heart absolutely broke for Mikayla through the duration of the book, but at no time more than in the first few chapters of the book when she deals with the ultimate betrayal and a horrifying crime… on the same night. I cringed, I cried. I truly felt for her. I can’t say she was the strongest female character I’ve ever read, but given all she went through in such a short span on time, the fact that she was even upright and functional was nothing short of amazing. So she suffered from a bit of low self-esteem and some trust issues. It’s truly no wonder.
I adored Jake. So much more than a lot. He may have started out the worst day of Mikayla’s life as a total stranger, but by the end of the night, they were bonded. Forever. I like when authors take the road less traveled and don’t feel the need to make every male character a “bad boy.” Sure, we all love reading about the reformed bad boy/manwhore, but it’s just as nice to read about a genuine nice guy. Especially when he’s also not a giant … wait, I can’t use that word… Well, when he’s still a GUY. Sure, Jake was feeling all the feelings about Mikayla, but he wasn’t hopelessly whipped. He also wasn’t an ass. He still had depth and needs and he made mistakes, but he was just so damned likable.
Mikayla and Jake’s chemistry was instantaneous. It was so believable. Genuine. I thoroughly enjoyed their journey. It was heartfelt. It was sweet. It was sexy, but not smutty. It was tumultuous, but not in a way that made me want to scream at them and shake them and throw my iPad across the room. I thank Jay McLean for taking me on this journey with her beautifully-written characters. I can’t wait to see where she takes them (and me!) in the upcoming second book, More Than Her.
The only even semi-negative thing I have to say about the book was that I found there to be way, way too much slang. Towards the end, I was getting sick of seeing “fricken” and “cut a bitch” and “legits.” Maybe other readers wouldn’t have this issue, but it was starting to grate on me by about the 3/4 mark of the book.
If you’re a fan of New Adult books, pick this one up. Seriously. You won’t regret it. As a matter of fact, I’m sure you’ll be with me, chomping at the bit for the second book’s release. It’s worth mentioning that, though this is a series, there is no cliffhanger! 🙂
“God Jake, I so much more than a lot like you.”
“Mikayla, I passed that stage a long, long time ago.”
“It’s just you. It’s only ever been just you. It will always only ever be just you.”
“I think I do, love her, I mean. I think I’m in love with this beautifully broken girl.”
“We’re looking so intently into each others’ eyes, trying to see into each others’ souls. Talking without speaking. Feeling without touching.”